National Food Service Bristol is currently in the process of becoming a democratic, member lead organisation. Currently we have a directorship of 8, made up of people who lead on the covid-response project. Our directors oversee the management of the organisation to make sure we’re sticking to our goals.
You can contact the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Director – Covid Project Manager
I’ve been working in community food provision for about five years, mainly at the Foodhall Project in Sheffield, which is where the National Food Service Network began. Food is me. Providing food for people is my thing.
I sometimes feel powerless in the face of the devastation ordinary people have to deal with thanks to the dismantling of the welfare state and the increased oppression of workers and renters. I can’t fix it all, no one can alone. But I can cook, and I can share, and when we sit around and share food with each other revolutionary ideas can happen.
Director – Community Organiser
I’ve worked in data and analytics as both an analyst and project manager for 6 years by day and a community & political organiser by night. I shifted in 2019 to make that my full-time job with ACORN the Union and National Food Service. I am passionate about giving working people a fighting voice when I see the cards stacked against us and using data to justify why its important. I’ve been a trade unionist since I was 16, Union rep and shop steward for the GMB and have been working with communities and business to do more around Food & Fuel poverty in the Midlands and moving back to the South West have brought that previous work here with me – coincidentally at the same time as Louise moving back from Sheffield. What drives me, is tackling housing insecurity and food insecurity that isn’t in the form of charity but sustainability and through a sense of community pride.
Director – Kitchen Manager
I’ve never worked professionally in a kitchen as the angry chef stereotype combined with stressful, long hours has always put me off but I am passionate about food and cooking so the idea of cooking in a pleasant environment to the benefit of the community naturally appealed to me.
I’m a political person and try to always get involved with important projects and causes such as Labour for a Green New Deal and Bristol Transformed. I believe the NFS is key to rebuilding our communities, dealing with the environmental crisis and the start of better politics.
Professionally I am a learning and development and volunteering adviser but personally I am obsessed with food and connecting with people what makes me happy. I spend a lot of time one way or another on the topic of food including volunteering for meals of wheels, the Foodchain in London and numerous small grassroots initiatives.
Bringing people together, supporting others to achieve and cultivating fun and care for one another is something I care passionately about and aim to live my life by. NFS for me is filling an important gap, rethinking how we support each other and offering real hope for the future.
Finding a lot of free time on my hands after being furloughed at the start of lockdown, I was looking to do something useful and keep busy. NFS Bristol has evolved so much since then, as has my role- starting as a driver coordinator and now as a Director and Secretary of the branch.
Food and people have always been important to me. Bringing them together in Bristol and nationally seems like a pretty good goal in my mind.
I got involved in NFS because I believe that any real change that happens is driven by people taking power into their own hands. NFS is about creating strength and resilience in our communities and showing we can work together to create something new. And it’s centred around food. I love food and eating and sharing meals – so it’s a good fit.
During the pandemic I’ve worked as a driver and as one of the kitchen coordinators. It’s been a privilege to work alongside so many amazing people. Now I’m looking forward to the challenge of trying to move towards our original goal of trying to create shared eating spaces and shared eating projects.
By day, I’m an arts coordinator with little previous experience of social justice projects and community projects, but NFS Bristol’s Covid-19 Response Project gave me the nudge to practically engage with my city’s social issues. I started as a delivery driver, then joined the driving coordination team, and quickly realised I wanted to make a longer-term commitment to the organisation.
The democratic, reciprocal structure of NFS aims to empower rather than patronise its users, which gives me hope for a shake-up of this wonderful but imbalanced city. I believe the change will start with a shared meal in a community kitchen, powered by shared workloads and tasks, and developed by shared ideas and solutions.
I believe that everyone, no matter of background, wealth or where they live, should have easy, welcoming access to the necessities of life.
We’re used to the phenomenal achievement of the National Health Service to take care of our health needs throughout our lives, so why shouldn’t we have the same provision for education, shelter and food?
Like many other people at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself furloughed then made redundant. I saw the opportunity to volunteer for NFS as an opportunity to help build the foundations of a mutual aid co-operative. I started by delivering meals, then became more involved in the mammoth admin job of coordinating food and volunteers across Bristol. Working with NFS became a full-time job for a while and I’m immensely proud of all that we have done, all that we continue to do, and for the exciting projects we’re already planning for when things return to normal.